A group working towards improving transport for Hailsham and Hellingly has welcomed the number of improvements over the summer.
But the MASHH – Movement and Access Strategy for Hailsham and Hellingly – Steering Group says further progress is urgently needed in creating a comprehensive scheme of improvements for Hailsham town centre.
Some £2 million worth of road improvements have already been delivered in the north of the town. The A271 has seen a new roundabout and signals at the Hawks Road Junction, a new roundabout at the junction with Battle Road (under construction), and a widened layout at the London Road junction. The A22 Hempstead Lane junction has been improved and New Road has been realigned at Hellingly. All the changes will improve traffic flows and highway safety.
Further improvements include an enhanced bus service linking new housing from Roebuck Park to Hailsham and Eastbourne costing £600,000, and major cycleway and pedestrian improvements along Battle Road, costing £250,000.
Funding for a number of the schemes has come from the developers of the Hellingly Hospital, Welbury Farm and Battle Road housing developments through Section 106 planning contributions.
Although over £3 million of transport improvements have so far been delivered for Hailsham and Hellingly, more investment is required.
Cllr Jo Bentley, chairman of MASHH, said, “We are of course pleased to see these schemes are now being delivered, but what is desperately needed is a more comprehensive scheme of improvements for the town centre. We would urge the planners, developers and the Highways Authority at East Sussex County Council to get on with the consulting and delivering of solutions as soon as possible.”
Further developer contributions have been made or pledged through planning agreements to improve traffic flows, highway safety and Hailsham town centre to help meet the demands of the recent and future growth of the town.
ESCC has now commissioned consultants to draw up designs for possible town centre schemed. The steering group will be looking at these in November with a view to seeking early views from local businesses before consulting with the public in 2014.